Sunday, 24 March 2019

Fabulous Foggydale Farm

Country roads...take me home.
Actually they took me far from home all the way to Hunua to visit Lynda Hallinan's garden or rather the Foggydale Farm, for her open weekend/autumn fair. It took about an hour to get there but Louise was very obliging, having visited once before for an Heroic Garden weekend about three years ago. Mum was in tow (again) but I honestly wonder why we take her because never does appreciate any thing, at least, she's all smiles until she gets home and tells my aunties her daughter dragged her to visit some farm.

I had always read about Lynda's exploits in the NZ Gardener magazine so seeing the place and Lynda in person was a treat for me, and wow it's an eye-candy experience. Hot orange flowers along the entrance - dahlias in full bloom and sedums, then a driveway lined with oaks and rhodos and hydrangeas,  to her cute 'she shed' stables, and then on to raised herbed beds, a floral picking garden, shaded bower, and down to the orchards and vege/flower box beds and meadows beyond.

Everywhere Lynda's touch was evident with her colour coordinated flair, there's purple/burgundy beds, blue beds, green beds, white beds, pink beds. Even her guest rooms are colour coordinated, right down to the books on the shelves.

Me, I'm considering it a triumph when anything grows in my garden so mostly colour coordination flies out the window.  I also have marauding chicken Martha to contend with. So far she's devasted my lupins, my garlic chives, dug up the pigs ear succulent that I must have replanted a dozen times, flung away my ajugas, dianthus, smashed my lobelias and just about uprooted my echinacea. I do have my hanging baskets all blue with lobelias and rosemary though, and Martha can't get to those.

Karyn's suggested banishing her to chicken never-never land and hiring a hit-man (Max) to be the strangler. It will be quick and painless she says. But I remind her it won't be if Mum finds out.

I asked Lynda about her pigs, she says they were in the orchard, but some escaped, so they only have one now, and all her chickens are confined to their designated chook run. There's some cattle, but otherwise, it's almost too neat and chic to be a real farm. She's got the down home country feel though, a few hale bales, and she's written a big fat tome about the wonders of Damson Plums. It's her fourth gardening book.

I spied the doyenne of gardening Mrs Bev McConnell being chauffered by garden buggy around the garden. I think she might have been a big influence on Lynda with all her blue beds. She's only just up the road in Whitford so I'm thinking they are just about neighbours. And to think last year I might have had the chance to work at Ayrlies with Bark but I never did..I just don't think I could stand the two hour commute. She's having her annual plant fair again next month.

However you can visit a garden a bit closer to home if you want...Woodside are having an open day which just so happens to coincide with our working bee (wonder who's idea that was??) and try out our brand new mulcher this Saturday. Morning tea on us. And Ben will show you how to prune our fruit trees.

Why no pics of faboulous Foggydale well am sorry, you just have to take my word on faith that we were there cos by the time I got to the place my phone had conked out with low battery so I couldn't take any photos even if I wanted to. Which seems to be always the case with me, just so not blessed with the camera that I don't even take selfies like everyone else does to prove they went to some place. It's no good for anyone who doesn't like reading! But don't worry, Lynda fans can just keep buying NZ Gardener magazine for fresh photo shoots of her garden, like Madonna, she's constantly reinventing herself and will always be in vogue.